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In Germanic religion, any of a group of maidens sent by Odin to select slain warriors worthy of a place in Valhalla. They rode to the battlefield on horses or, in some accounts, flew through the air and sea. Some had the power to cause the death of warriors they disliked; others guarded the lives and ships of those they favoured. According to various myths, they were either purely supernatural or human with supernatural powers; they were associated with fairness, brightness, and gold as well as with bloodshed.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Valkyrie, visit Britannica.com.